Do You Need to Go to School to Become a Locksmith?

locksmith school

On your journey to become a locksmith one of your first questions will likely be about locksmith training requirements, especially if you’ve never worked in the field of locksmithing.  One question in particular may be on your mind, “Do I need to attend school to become a locksmith?”  The answer: “Yes and no.”

As previously discussed locksmith licensing requirements differ by state.  For example, to become a locksmith in California there is no requirement to have any type of locksmith certification or training from an accredited locksmith school in order to obtain a license.  However, in Illinois in order to obtain your locksmithing license you must take and pass a locksmith examination administered by the state.  In order to pass this examination you will likely need to have completed an apprenticeship or some other type of locksmith training course.

As you can see from above it may be beneficial to attend a locksmith training class that provides you with written certification.

Reasons You Should Attend Locksmith School

Regardless of whether your state requires a certification from an accredited locksmith school or a passing score on a locksmith examination, it is still to your benefit to receive some type of formal training.  When entering any profession you want to be in a position to put yourself ahead of your competition and additional training is one method that can help you become a successful locksmith quicker.

In addition, if you choose not to complete any type of formal training or apprenticeship you will find that the field of locksmithing may narrow for you substantially.  Most commercial or industrial companies will not hire a locksmith that is not certified or registered, and you may end up only able of finding work in residential areas where your customer is more concerned with a quick solution than anything to do with your reputation.

What will You Learn at Locksmith School?

Depending on the locksmith specialization (i.e. automotive, electrical, residential) you choose there will be different topics discussed.  But in general all accredited locksmith schools will discuss the following subjects:

  • Different types of locks
  • Disassembling and reassembling lock types
  • Re-keying tools
  • Lock picking methods

Types of Locksmith School

  • Attend a local locksmith training program
  • Enroll in online locksmith courses
  • Complete an apprenticeship with a reputable locksmith

Where to Find an Accredited Locksmith School?

Get accustomed with the Associated Locksmiths of America as they will become a great resource for you.  They provide a list of the 34 locksmith schools across the United States.  Click here to see that list.  Ensure that you give the school a call before enrolling to ensure you are signing up for the class that will be most beneficial for you and that will meet any requirements that your state might have to become licensed as a locksmith.

Other Resources to Increase your Locksmith Skills

  • Utilize DVDs or instructional videos to further your expertise
  • Take advantage of different locksmith books to increase your knowledge in different locksmithing fields

Our advice is to checkout the available locksmith schools in your area or online and follow through in becoming a qualified locksmith.


  1. Locksmith says

    Our locksmith found that cheaper doors are usually fitted with roller
    type locks. Consumer reviews are usually posted on
    a number of websites detailing the quality of work rendered.

    There are many locksmithing services you can find and use in your local

  2. Marc says

    I think the best way to really learn the prosfseion is to hire on at a locksmith company as an apprentice. Hands-on experience is the most valuable. Of course, there are classes you can take. Probably the most reputable is Associated Locksmiths of America ( Although expensive, it is a good introduction and overview of the lock prosfseion. A really good suggestion is to hire on at a locksmith company, and see if they will pay (at least, partly) for you to attend this course. If you know up front all the details, your employer is more likely to take you seriously.

  3. Yvon says

    I think with specific trades like locksmithing or photography, it is possible to get away with being self taught, unless your state requires it like you said. I think it would be cool to learn a trade to help me make money, but I think it is important to get a well rounded education as well. Do those locksmith schools teach you how to work with electronic locks?

    • Locksmith Expert says

      It depends on the training that you sign up for, but more and more training is centered around electrical locksmithing.

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